Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects on protein kinase C and gene expression in a human mast cell line, HMC-1, following microwave exposure. med./bio.

Published in: Cell Biol Int 2000; 23 (11): 739-748

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To determine the effect of an electromagnetic field exposure in the microwave range (864.3MHz) on protein kinase C and gene expression in human mast cells.

Background/further details

The cells were allowed to cool during the exposure.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 864.3 MHz
Modulation type: CW
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure, 3 x 20 min/day at 4-h intervals, for 7 days
  • SAR: 7.3 W/kg average over mass (cf. remarks) (averaged over 20 g of medium)
  • SAR: 12.1 W/kg unspecified (unspecified) (4.9, 11.4, and 12.1 W/kg at three points)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 864.3 MHz
  • guided field
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure, 3 x 20 min/day at 4-h intervals, for 7 days
Modulation type CW
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber The exposure chamber [Donnellan et al., 1997] consisted of a cubic aluminium box of 1.1 m internal side length and contained a horizontal loop antenna mounted on a horizontal Masonite shelf located at the mid point of the chamber. The reflective walls formed a resonant chamber, and thus a complex modal field pattern was generated that was taken into account in the experimental design.
Setup Cells in 20 ml of culture medium in a 75-cm² flask were placed in the exposure chamber.
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info The cells were allowed to cool during the exposure. After 20 min, there was less than 1°C difference between the temperature of the culture medium in the exposed (26.5°C) and sham (25.8°C) flasks, and this difference occurred only during the last 5 min of the exposure.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
SAR 7.3 W/kg average over mass determined by power loss cf. remarks averaged over 20 g of medium
SAR 12.1 W/kg unspecified measured unspecified 4.9, 11.4, and 12.1 W/kg at three points

Reference articles

  • Donnellan M et al. (1997): Effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation at 835 MHz on growth, morphology and secretory characteristics of a mast cell analogue, RBL-2H3.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

There was no significant morphological difference between the control HMC-1 cells and the exposed cells. There was a consistent trend for an increase in the amount of immunoreactive protein kinase C in the membrane fraction of the exposed cells and a concomitant decrease in the cytosolic fraction. Reproducible and significant changes in expression were seen in only three out of a total of 588 genes screened. The results provide evidence that low-level microwave exposure can affect both gene expression and molecules involved in important cell regulatory functions.

Study character:

Study funded by

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